The Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD) marked Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) on May 18, 2023, with the aim of creating an inclusive society that offers equal opportunities for the growth and well-being of Persons with Disabilities (PwDs). DEPwD, which operates under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India, serves as the central authority responsible for addressing the development needs of PwDs in the country. The celebration of GAAD reflects the commitment to ensure that individuals with disabilities can lead productive, safe, and dignified lives.
About the Global Accessibility Awareness Day
Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is an annual observance held on the third Thursday of May to promote awareness and understanding of accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. It aims to bring attention to the importance of digital access and inclusive design, encouraging organizations, individuals, and communities to consider accessibility in technology and digital platforms.
History of the Day
GAAD was first celebrated in 2012 and was initiated by a group of web developers and digital accessibility advocates who recognized the need to raise awareness about accessibility barriers and promote the creation of accessible technologies.
The origin of GAAD can be traced back to a blog post written by Joe Devon and Jennison Asuncion in 2011. They proposed the idea of a dedicated day to focus on digital accessibility and invited the technology community to participate. The response was overwhelmingly positive, leading to the establishment of GAAD the following year.
Since then, GAAD has gained global recognition and participation, with various events, workshops, webinars, and initiatives organized worldwide to spread awareness and knowledge about accessibility.
Significance of the Day
The significance of GAAD lies in its ability to engage people from different backgrounds and industries to actively participate in discussions, learning, and action towards making digital platforms and technologies more accessible. It highlights the importance of inclusive design, user experience, and equal access to information and services for people with disabilities. GAAD serves as a reminder that accessibility is not just a legal requirement but a fundamental aspect of creating an inclusive and equitable society.
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